The SAPHIRe project on Securing Adoption of Personalised Health in Regions has been started.

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10 December 2018

Coordination and support action

The development of personalised medicine (PM), stratified or precision medicine is an evolution that cannot be stopped anymore. PM is strongly technological driven and will induce a transformation of how health and well-being are approached, and medicine is being implemented.

The convergence of knowledge on what determines health and disease or how the process of ageing is determined, with digital technologies and access to data opens a huge potential to develop new applications to improve general health, wellbeing, and will make preventive medicine reality.

To stimulate developments in personalised medicine and support the uptake in all European regions, including sparsely populated and remote regions, the EU recently awarded a coordination and support action on Securing the Adoption of Personalised Health in Regions - SAPHIRe. The project is meant as a support to the agenda of the International Consortium of Personalised Medicine (ICPerMed), which was formally established in November 2016 at the initiative of the European Commission.


SAPHIRe started on 1 December 2018 and is coordinated by the Department Economy, Science and Innovation (EWI) of the Flemish Government.

The other consortium members are the Regional Agency for Public Health and Social Well-being (PHA) from Northern Ireland, Hungary-based EIT Health InnoStars and the EuroBioForum Foundation (The Netherlands), which was an important driving actor to support PM in Europe since 2011. 

Regional healthcare systems

The major aims of SAPHIRe are to support regions in Europe to structure the implementation and adoption of personalised medicine in regional healthcare systems by identifying and addressing specific regional gaps and barriers.

To realise these goals, SAPHIRe will create a network of regions and their ecosystems, including all stakeholders across the entire value chains. Regions are well placed to bring personal medicine and healthcare closer to the citizen.

Pilot projects in and between regions could provide the much-needed evidence for the adoption of personalised medicine in regional as well as national health systems.

Best practices on the implementation of personalised medicine from regions across Europe will allow to develop a modular roadmap. Region-specific recommendations on policy, funding and investments needs will be extracted to stimulate the development and deployment of interregional (cross-border) collaboration projects.

SAPHIRe will run over the next three years and plans to engage with regional stakeholders, including policymakers, industrial and academic actors via a series of thematic workshops.

The first workshop is planned in the early spring of 2019.

Parallel to and aligned with the SAPHIRe project, EWI-Flanders is one of the leading regions in the Interregional Partnership for Smart Specialisation on Personalised Medicine (S3P4PM) which started in May 2018.

See for more information:

The SAPHIRe project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 825046.

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Contact details

Kathleen D'Hondt

Afdeling Onderzoek
0477 40 31 20